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Op-Ed: Demystifying Ammon Bundy, Part 3

By • October 13, 2022

Keeping Idaho IDAHO

The Constitution of the United States proclaims “all” federal property in a state must be “purchased” from the state “by the Consent of the Legislature of the State.” The Constitution of the State of Idaho declares: “All property and institutions of the territory [of Idaho] shall, upon the adoption of the constitution, become the property and institutions of the state of Idaho.” The US Congress accepted Idaho’s constitution when it dutifully admitted the state into the union on July 3, 1890.

These constitutional promises were never met. Now the federal government claims it owns sixty-two percent of the state of Idaho, and even a higher percentage of its mineral rights. As people pour into the state searching for more freedom, liberty, and peace that this state has always stood for, is it too late or too wrong to constitutionally seek legislative or judicial solutions for the future prosperity of Idaho, as Ammon Bundy promises to do when elected governor? The answer to this question is found in both the distant and recent past.

Soon after the nation’s founding, the General Land Office of the federal government provided essential services for the settling of the territories as they evolved into states. According to the Constitution, the federal government’s job was to help the embryonic states get through their growing pains, and then set the child free. It was never meant to be a “helicopter parent” forever.

Over the course of the twentieth century, however, the “GLO” morphed into the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management, and other well-meaning environmental agencies. But for Idaho and other western states, it’s as if these federal agencies quietly assumed “squatter’s rights,” wherein a squatter, if they make improvements upon the land for a certain period of time, claims a permanent right to that land. Of course, no such right exists for a federal agency.

The federal government has continued, nevertheless, to come up with reasons to stay put. Today, the BLM’s and federal government’s warm and fuzzy ploy for owning and controlling state land is that environmental crises call for what they term “an all of government approach” – towns and cities, counties, regions, and states – with the federal government, of course, leading out with its own laws, regulations, and especially its seductive and captivating grant programs.

I became familiar with this approach in 1969 as a junior at South Tahoe High School. This was the year Congress created the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. The TRPA, as we called it, was the pioneer, and is still one of the leading practitioners, of the “all of government approach.” Years later, as the Water Operations Manager for the South Tahoe Public Utility, working at the very center of all the environmental issues, I witnessed the unfolding drama unleashed by the TRPA.

The agency combined local, county, state, and federal governments into a regional environmental agency. Fifty-three years later the “all of government approach” has done some to “Save the Lake;” but much more to suffocate my hometown and other communities throughout the Tahoe Basin with its ordinances, regulations, fees, and fines. In the end we could not “Keep Tahoe TAHOE” for its ordinary citizens, and they have moved out in droves. They have been replaced by a growing corporate and international presence and the second, third, or fourth homes of the wealthy.

Today, the insatiable federal appetite for expansion of its power and authority is widely known. But there was never much room for a true “all” within the “all of government approach.” In my experience the federal government wants to be in the center of nearly everything. It wants the final word. But the “all of government approach” is too handy and devious a solution to save the environment and protect democracy at the same time. How telling is it that eighty-seven per cent of BLM employees based in Washington DC quit the Bureau rather than relocate to the BLM’s new headquarters in Grand Junction, Colorado three years ago? What does this say about its fidelity to its constituents, such as farmers and ranchers?

Even now, three movements, with federal support, are coalescing into one that goes by the acronym ESG, standing for “Environmental-Social-Governance.” This framework supposedly measures the sustainability and ethical impact of investment in a business or company, but it is wildly susceptible to subjective judgment, ideological preferences, and political skewing. It is an “all of government approach” for sure. And we are being blithely assured ESG will not negatively affect our personal lives or credit rating.

Why can’t the state of Idaho take on the task of protecting its own environment, profiting from the wise use of its resources, and relieve the overburdened federal government to attend to its enumerated powers as outlined in the US Constitution? The phenomenon of increasing growth and power have not only constitutional but significant cultural implications as well. Ammon Bundy’s slogan “Keep Idaho IDAHO” has a second meaning – maintaining its unique identity as it resides in the hearts and minds of native and newborn Idahoans.

Where we live is a key part of a person and community’s identity, and perhaps more so for rural citizens. Their way of living is directly tied to the land. It is not mobile, as is the urban and suburban life, but it can be honored far more than it currently is by those who live in the cities of Idaho.

A state’s identity is the glue that binds us. Maintaining, as well as enhancing, Idaho‘s unique character, values, and traditions, as well as its environment, is OUR task. For well over half a century the state of Idaho has had all the talent and educational systems it needs to manage its lands and service its people – focused on the best of science, technology, agriculture, and all the advantageous industries that are developed by its citizens and make Idaho IDAHO – without federal handholding, yet linked closely with it and the federated states of our country as set forth in the US Constitution and Tenth Amendment “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility… and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”?

Ammon Bundy is correct. This “can do” state will prosper economically and culturally by controlling all its land. In today’s world, Idaho can be more capable, creative, and nimble than the federal government in meeting the needs of the state and thereby our nation as well.

Go to to learn more about the need to “Keep Idaho IDAHO.”

This Op-Ed was submitted by Rick Hydrick. Op-Eds do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of those at the Idaho Dispatch.


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Tags: Ammon Bundy, BLM, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Federal Lands, Idaho Constitution, US Constitution

25 thoughts on “Op-Ed: Demystifying Ammon Bundy, Part 3

  1. Great op-ed. Thanks for setting the record straight. I’ve seen more Bundy signs & very few Little signs. I hope that doesn’t turn out to be like Biden who got few to his rallies but supposedly ‘won’. Leading me to believe the fix was in. Boy do we need men like the caliber of Bundy more than ever now!! God bless him and I am praying fervently he is our next Governor.

  2. If you want your Freedoms, Vote for Ammon Bundy on Tuesday November 8th, 2022.

    Do Not Vote for any of the Uniparty’s Clownfest candidates.

  3. As Ammon seems to me to be a man of the people, I accept what he wants. The sticky part for me is after he is gone. Some corrupt politicians whittle away at the land, acre by acre and lot by lot. To quote Mel in the Patriot “why trade one tyrant 2400 miles away for 2400 tyrants one mile away”

  4. Why no mention of the life he cost by leading Lavoy Fincum to his death. Do any of you know who this man is and what happened to him?

    1. Yes, and I’ve watched detailed video on Lavoy. While it’s awful Lavoy died, he was a grown man and he knew exactly how this was to play out. Ammon didn’t “lead him” to do anything. It’s important to view all of Lavoy videos before passing some judgement on Ammon.

    2. I knew LaVoy personally, I spent almost a entire month with him at the Malheur Refuge. We had numerous meetings usually two a day as to the best actions to take. LaVoy was our leader much more so than anyone else. If you want someone to blame for LaVoy’s death blame me as I talked LaVoy into staying after his church threatened him with excommunication.

    3. Ammon Bundy did not cause the death of Lavoy Finicum. YOU are the one who has no knowledge of “this man.” Bundy is a man of principle and character. He and Lavoy went together to help the Hammonds. It was the FEDs who shot at them, without reason — it was an Oregon State Trooper who killed Finicum. Get your facts straight. A JURY found Ammon Bundy was not guilty of anything and he was exonerated. . .

  5. I have already listened to the life long politicians election ads. (by god if you re-elect me I will make a change.) Didn’t they make this claim from Obama to trump, had all 3 houses, and didn’t do a damn thing. The best part is I have seen this time and time again in my years and for some reason everyone keeps voting for them. Bundy might not be the perfect choice but he is not the same thing and then we wonder why nothing has ever changed direction. If all else think of the statement made with a Bundy vote.

  6. Everytime I travel the 55, which is once a week, I see our foothills quickly disappearing with homes with no more than 10’ between them. The Rodeo is now gone. Their plan is to stretch this expansion all the way to Horseshoe Bend. I used to see antelope there. No more. I call it “Little Valencia”. All we need now is a Magic Mountain theme park there and it will be a complete replica of what destroyed the foothills north of Los Angeles.

    The beautiful stretch of natural beauty and curves along the river below Rainbow Bridge has been destroyed by a 20 million dollar project that blew up the mountainsides and widened the road so idiots that kept passing on curves would stop getting in head on collisions or ending up in the River. That project only went 40 billion over budget. It was supposed to slow people down. People are still speeding at 60 miles an hour in the 25 mile an hour zone through Smith’s Ferry and the LE agency responsible for this area refuses to patrol due to personnel shortages.

    Litter is something never seen before on the 55 and now the pull over areas have dirty diapers and trash thrown out with little regard to the environment.

    Thank God the expansion of Cascade was put on hold due to water rights as the 1500 unit land clearance was just completed. There is no infrastructure support for that kind of expansion in that city. One small grocery store, pharmacy burned down, small Sheriff’s office and tiny hospital.

    We are losing our appeal and our landscape that makes Idaho so special. Our culture is quickly eroding as liberals are escaping the nightmares they created. Just look what has happened to Boise.

  7. Thank you for the in depth look at Ammon Bundy. I have followed his saga since it all started while living in Bend, Oregon. I followed the drama that unfolded during the occupation of the Malhuer Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon. I am in agreement with his positions on the government’s overreach. The United States Federal Government does whatever it wants to do and if you’re in the way, you’ll get mowed down. Even if President Trump is elected to serve as President again and the Republicans run the House and Senate for the next decade, we will still have government overreach. We can drain the swamp to an extent but Its so big. So top heavy. So powerful. So intrusive.

    Mr. Bundy (and all of us) should continue to push for Idaho’s freedoms and independence. He will need to prove himself to be a strategic thinker. Someone who can outsmart the opposition rather than going head to head as it has been proven by the arrests, jail time, and destruction that has followed him on his journey for justice. His reputation is one of extremism even if his positions are totally just. I think he could possibly win a seat at the table as a Legislator in future elections but he will need to show he can outsmart the opposition. The causes he feels passionate about are shared by many but it’s gonna take time, patience and smarts to get voters on his side. Even with a small army of fervent supporters he cannot win this election for Governor.

    Republicans should do what it takes to win elections. Do we have perfect candidates? Absolutely not but Republicans and Conservatives must do what it takes to run strong Conservatives and win elections. We can weed out the chaff but we must win in order to do that.

    1. Stan, you make some valid points, but as I look back over the past 40 years or so, I find that the behemoth that the government has become and the disconnect with politicians to citizens at all levels, I don’t think time is something that can be squandered. The people have to take a stand now or you might as well roll over and accept whatever comes your way. Mr. Bundy personifies what a Patriot is. If you recall how the Revolutionary War was won, the British stood in formation (As was the accepted method in 1775) while the American Patriots resorted to guerrilla tactics to defeat a superior force, thus earning our eventual freedoms. If you sit back and hope for things to fall into place, your grandchildren will be singing the same song, probably in chains. There is a time and place for sitting idly by, but the actions of Little and his cronies over the past two years are a precursor to what is to come should he be re-elected.

    2. Stan, BUNDY CAN WIN THE ELECTION FOR GOVERNOR. He absolutely can win!! DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY ARE OUT THERE WHO SUPPORT HIM?? GO OUT AND TALK TO PEOPLE!! The Republicans in Idaho are weak. When they are in power what changes? NOTHING! Besides, all they do is repeat “Guns, GOOD!” and “We’re PRO-Life.” But, do we see anything to prove that? NO, WE DO NOT. The state keeps moving LEFT . . . We need Bundy NOW! We need REAL change! Do not despair. VOTE AMMON BUNDY FOR GOVERNOR.

  8. With the exception of Steve Moats these are all good posts. Bundy seems to be the right choice. And it’s too bad we can’t vote for Giddings as his running mate. I think that they would make a very good team for our state. But Idaho has chosen not to put in a “write in” space for Lt Governor, so we’re stuck with Bedke as our choice,

    1. Hunter,

      You may want to check your ballot for Bedke & Company’s ballot tampering.

      The Lt. Governor vote does indeed have a “Write-In” which we can all use to:

  9. Idaho Seven –

    I have my absentee ballot in my hand as I answer you, and it DOES NOT have a line for a “write in” for Lt Governor. It has these three options : Bedke (REP),, Manweiler (DEM), and Pro-life (A person formerly known as Marvin Richardson) (CON). That’s exactly what my ballot reads, and there is NO PLACE for a write in. This ballot was obtained from the county elections office. If ANYONE has a ballot that reflects a different selection I would like to know about it immediately.

    Along a similar vein, today I received the Idaho Tax Commission’s letter explaining that e “tax rebate” is forthcoming. In round about words It reflects that RINO Little is glad to be able to make this happen. My thoughts are that it’s just another RINO ploy to buy a few more votes as Governor. And it stinks to the maximum that there are people out there that will drink the cool aid and vote for the outlaw. If necessary I would vote for a democrat candidate before I would vote for Little.

    1. Thanks Hunter,
      Interesting, the sample ballot has a place for “Write In”.

      Can anyone else add to this? What does the actual Ballot say?

      If no place for Write In, shouldn’t this election be redone? Isn’t that illegal or gaming the system?

  10. It does indeed look like the Citizendry, The People of Idaho, cannot vote for the candidate of their choice:

    There are three approved state candidates for write in. Any name written in besides these three will not be counted. These names do not appear on the ballot, hence the need for the voter to write them in. The three approved write ins are:

    For Governor
    Lisa Marie

    For Secretary of State
    Garth G Gaylord

    For Legislative District 1, State Senator
    Steven R Johnson

    So it looks like the Lt. Governor ballot vote will be left blank, as in NO VOTE….. NO BEDKE…..NO MANWEILER…..LEAVE IT BLANK!

  11. Idaho seven — You are absolutely correct. My elections office informed me that write ins cannot occur UNLESS the candidate for that position registers as a write in candidate. So we cannot vote for the person(s) that we would like to have in any particular office unless that person jumps through all the hoops that the state puts in place. So for everyone out there hoping to vote for Giddings— well, forget it, We’re screwed. It will be politics as usual. And IMHO we will be stuck with Bedke- whether we like it or not. Same for other positions in State or County positions. THAT SYSTEM SHOULD BE CHANGED. Giddings had a very active following and there should have been a place on the ballot for a write in for EVERY position on the ballot.

    1. Agreed: When a ballot contains only unsuitable or dangerous, out side influenced, candidates, The People must have the opportunity to, at the last moment, write in a consensus Citizen to protect the state and the people.

      In the Lt Governor’s race that leaves us with two unsuitable candidates:
      1.) Bedke, who seems to use Kangaroo Courts against his and the governor’s opponents and a person that some consider a Dictator in his torturous reign as Speaker of the House.
      2.) Manweiler who’s recent baby killing ad was sponsored by ActBlue a Soros funded BLM group.

      I’ll stick with my “Write-In for Priscilla Giddings” as a protest, even if it has to be squeezed between the lines.

      We must all work together to get these very dangerous laws changed for future elections.

  12. Speaking of the unConstitutional grabbing of state property by the unConstitutional feds, who was the candidate who ran for Attorney General a few years ago who pointed out that the Feds are not allowed to own state property and several states have sued and won their land back from Washington? He also noted that those that had won their land back were mostly in the eastern part of the US. Wonder how that works?

    With the new concept of “nullifying” the thousands of unConstitutional federal laws and regulations by the states; that might be a very effective way of getting our lands back as well as negating a ton of other laws and regulations forced on us by the geniuses in DC?

  13. Who is Rick Hydrick, what are his connections to Mr. Bundy, and what are his qualifications to “demystify” Ammon Bundy in multiple media outlets?

  14. Your essays have convinced our house to vote for the only principled man running for governor, Ammon Bundy. Thank you.

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